Quick Question

Hello and welcome back to another week of friendly falsehoods and fortunate fictions here at Factually Deficient! This week, I will answer a question by the faithful and fortitudinous Tohrinha. Tohr asked:

Dear Factually Deficient, why can’t I ask questions as quickly as I like?

Questions imply answers. This blog is a perfect illustration of that fact – while it is true that I cannot publish answers without questions, it is equally true that it would be utterly valueless for me to post my readers’ questions without appending answers. The existence of a question suggests that an answer to it exists – one could even argue that asking the question calls the answer into being.

Because questions and answers are so interdependent, the inquisitive nature of a question mandates time in which to answer it. True, many – perhaps even most – questions are not answered immediately. Some questions require deep thought to be put to them, careful consideration before delivering an answer. Some questions are difficult, and coming up with an acceptable solution takes time. Some questions are simply sent in writing, by some slow delivery method which mandates a lengthy time delay between the asking of the question and the receiving of the answer.

Nevertheless, even questions which are not built to be answered immediately, by their very nature call into being an expectant pause in which the answer might make itself known. People can overcome this pause to a certain extent, forcing a series of rapid-fire questions into the air, but at a certain point, physics will catch up to them. The laws of nature reassert themselves. The air itself grows heavy and silent, preventing the questioner from speaking until the time delay for each and every question asked plays itself out, seconds ticking by in accordance with the length of each question’s appropriate answer.

When no answer is spoken in this time, it is often unnerving to those around: the oxygen around them practically quivering with its deadness, the noiseless rustle of leaves and shuffle of footsteps leaving them disoriented and deafened by the silence. But it can also be a spiritual time: a forced breather, a moment to step back from the frenetic pace of their day – and a chance to consider for themselves what the answers to these questions might be.


Disclaimer: some information in this blog post is inaccurate. Not all questions require one to pause.


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